Hi! My name is Alyssa, and I am in the 8th grade…. When I first joined Wakeman, I thought I would never talk to
anyone. I liked the place, but hadn’t connected to any program or any person just yet. But last year I heard
about a Wakeman program called Sparks and really wanted to try it out. It is a travel and leadership program for
middle schoolers. Every week our group met and during those classes I barely spoke to anyone. It was hard
being the new girl but I knew at some point I would have something to say.
Slowly I started to find out facts about my group and I got more comfortable with them. When it was time to
travel to Washington DC last summer, I was nervous yet again. I didn’t know how I would survive, but the funny
thing is, that week away with Wakeman made me a more outgoing person. I didn’t STOP talking on that trip. I
learned a lot about the places we visited, but I also learned about myself. I learned that I liked being a leader
and that I didn’t mind speaking in front of a WHOLE BUNCH of people. On the trip I even made new friends I
never thought I would have. Every single second of that trip was an experience I will never forget.
Now this school year I have gotten involved in many more Wakeman programs like Torch Club, LiveGirl and
basketball. I can’t wait for what’s next.
To all of you here today, thank you. Wakeman helped me become a more open minded person. Literally,
Wakeman gave me MY voice. And again, I thank you for that.